Apparently the assholes that were trying to produce “Midnight Rider” have managed to pay off the family of the deceased Sarah Jones, a camera assistant on the aforementioned Gregg Allman biopic, who was killed during the production of the film.
For those of you not familiar, the crew was filming on a live rail freight line without the permission of CSX, the company operating the line. The locomotives hauling freight through the corridor and over the trestle the crew were on are allowed to run up to 70 miles an hour and can take a full mile to stop. Unfortunately, in this case, the crew was caught unaware on the line as the train barreled down on them. Many of the cast and crew escaped to safety, but a prop left on the tracks was struck by the train and launched like a missle into the crew that couldn’t get away. Several crew members were critically injured and Sarah Jones was killed.
Many of us know the pressures of production, the tight turnarounds, losing light, poor scheduling, weather, etc., etc. And, yet, at the end of the day, we’re making movies. Unfortunately, the nature of the business tends to foster egos that can easily go unchecked simply because they command a lot of money in a prestigious occupation. Corners get cut, demands get made that often fly in the face of common sense and worst of all, safety.
In this case, those egos got someone killed. I hope and pray that the judge and the jury who are going to try this team for manslaughter aren’t blinded by the supposed glitter and glamour of Hollywood. Even better yet, I hope the team takes the stand and bring their arrogance with them for the jury to see in full color. If you’ve ever been chewed out by an egomaniac producer, you’ll know just how easy it will be for a good prosecutor to get them to mouth off. And, in the deep south, that sort of thing just doesn’t fly.
No shot is worth even a minor injury. Period. And, if your movie means more to you than the lives of the crew helping you make it, you don’t deserve one lick of sympathy if you have to pay the price for maiming or killing them. I hope they get what they’ve got coming…serious jail time. Criminal charges are pending in Georgia in early March 2015. Hopefully they’ll be wearing prison orange shortly after.
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